The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

The North Face Montana Mitt Review

This model is an excellent choice for its price range, offering a fantastic value among the mittens.
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Price:  $70 List | $41.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Extremely water resistant, nice fit, dexterous, extra features, killer price for what you get
Cons:  Not as warm as other mittens we tested
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers  ⋅  Dec 12, 2018
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Dexterity - 25% 5
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The North Face Montana is a legit mitt and is one of the lowest priced pairs of gloves in our fleet. They provide an excellent fit and are surprisingly dexterous (for a mitten) and water resistant while offering some of the best features of any mitt in our review. Ringing in at a total of $70, the Montana Mitt is an excellent all-around mitt at a fantastic value.

If you want to step up the warmth and overall performance, check out the Editors' Choice-winning Mercury Mitt. You'll have to fork over more cash for it, though.

Need more dexterity?
This mitt is also available as the Montana Glove. For $70, enjoy the same features and warmth as the mitt we tested. Designed for cold days and resort skiing, we don't think you'll be disappointed with the glove version of one of our favorite mitts.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


These mittens have awesome features  solid water resistance  and fine durability  but they aren't incredibly warm. They do cost only $70  though.
These mittens have awesome features, solid water resistance, and fine durability, but they aren't incredibly warm. They do cost only $70, though.

Warmth


The first thing we found odd about the Montana MITT, is that is wasn't exactly very warm. This is odd since it is a MITTEN and not a glove. We found it to be much less warm than the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt. With that said, the Montana Mitt still offers a decent level of warmth, at an unbeatable price. While warmth might be the only factor that kept the Montana from scoring higher, they did have other advantages, such as excellent water resistance and dexterity.

Dexterity


During our side-by-side testing, the Montana Mitt performed fantastically and offered better dexterity than many of the mittens available in our review; this is due to the Montana's solid design, with the well-articulated thumb and four-finger section. While we could easily buckle our boots and zip our jackets, these mitts weren't quite as dexterous as some of the warmest gloves that we tested, such as the BD Guide.

The Montana was noticeably more dexterous than the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, and is surprisingly dexterous for a mitten. This is mainly due to the lower insulation content in the mitten. The Montana Mitt is an excellent choice for those that need something warmer than a glove (especially in the same price range), but don't want to feel like they have two clubs for hands.

Water Resistance


The Montana Mitt has been updated with a newer Gore-Tex membrane versus the old HyVent that North Face used previously. The Montana Mitt was the only model we tested that had a waterproof membrane fabric inside the shell of the mitt; this shell covered the entire mitten, including the palm. This is important because the entire mitten can be susceptible to water, and not just the palm or exterior of it. The water resistance of the shell significantly outlasted both Hestra models, and while the Black Diamond Mercury's shell material performed similarly, the water resistance quality was far higher (and often lasted much longer) on the Montana's palms when compared to the Mercury. Keep in mind a water-resistant material will not wear as well as a leather one.

Durability


While the Montana Mitts were only tested for one season, they held up wonderfully. The outer fabric offers high-quality water resistance, and these mitts are beefy enough for most resort skiers and snowboarders. Like we had mentioned the synthetic palm is tough but doesn't stand a chance versus reinforced leather palms on the other gloves we tested, but it is also offered at a much lower price.

The latest version of the Montana Mitts retains their one-piece palm.
The latest version of the Montana Mitts retains their one-piece palm.

Features


This pair of ski gloves had loads of usable features that help set it apart when compared to the other gloves and mittens we reviewed. One of our favorite features is the inner elastic seal that came down over our wrist; this not only helped to keep snow out and heat in, but it also added to the fantastic fit of this mitten. The keeper leashes were also a home run, similar to the Hestras; they have a big beefy wrist strap that kept the glove securely attached when we took them off.

The gauntlet cinch did a great job of keeping snow out, and the slightly softer fabric on the back of the thumb was nice for wiping goggles and runny noses. The Montana was the only model we tested that didn't feature a removable liner; this allowed for better dexterity, though they did take a little longer to thoroughly dry out.

Best Applications


The Montana Mitt is best used by people who tend to do most of their skiing and snowboarding in temps above 0F and ideally, for many, above 10F. The real benefit of the mitt is the amazing water resistance, similar to the Alti gloves, they were impossible to penetrate and would feel at home in the PNW. The Montana may not be the best choice for more extreme cold in areas like upper New England, where you would be better suited to choose something that's just plain warmer, like the Black Diamond Mercury MItt.

Value


At $70, The North Face Montana Mitt is a great buy for people who value the warmth of a mitten and exceptional water resistance. We think this mitten is an excellent buy for wet climates and will keep your hands warmer than a similarly priced glove.

Conclusion


The high-quality, water-resistant fabric allows the rider to maintain dry hands for a longer period and keeps the mitts from wetting out as quickly as nearly all of the other models. The Montana strikes an excellent balance by being warmer than many gloves, but also more dexterous than most mittens on the market today.


Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers